Monday, 2 October 2017

My October started with a bang ... literally.



I wanted to start off this post saying how much I am looking forward to autumn. In typical blogger style, it is my absolute favourite season. Don't get me wrong I enjoy the warm weather when I can sit by a pool and sip a cocktail, but its not so fun when I am a sweaty hot mess on a bus or at work. So I wanted to spend the whole post where I wax lyrical about chunky knit jumpers, hot chocolate and cosy autumn catch ups (and there will be some of that tomorrow I promise)

Then yesterday on my way home from the gym we were driving down a dual carriageway when an elderly man turned right into the oncoming traffic and straight into the passenger side of the car (where I was) Both air bags went off with a horrendous bang and then strangely for a moment everything felt calm. I can't really explain it, but I looked over at Tom and he was looking at me and it was like for a few moments we knew whatever was to follow we were both alive and not seriously injured. I climbed over the drivers side and went to see if the other driver was OK. I wanted to be angry but I was confronted with a confused old man and so I think my nursing instinct kicked in and I managed to get him out of the car and out of danger. He went to the police station and surrendered his licence. 

After spending a few hours at A&E being checked over we were both sent home, Tom with a possible scaphoid fracture and me with a lot of bruising and soft tissue damage. My mind keeps going to the what ifs, but I am just so happy to be alive.Im sore, but have a stash of painkillers and so lets get on with October. My goal is to spend my time working on my mind, body and soul and spending as much time as I can with people I love. Especially my husband, as after going through that I am so grateful. 
Charlotte Lucy.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

The 4 Drinks getting me through my night shifts.

So after doing solely night shifts for around a year now I had realised that I was heavily relying on caffeine and sugar to get me through my shifts. I am not one of these people who is going to demonise caffeine or sugar but after starting to suffer with headaches and also a raise in my anxiety levels I decided it was time to cut back a little bit. I started to drink a lot of ice cold water but started to miss all the flavours and so here are the 4 drinks that have been getting me through my night shifts ...


These fruity drinks come in a variety of flavours and I am hoping to try more in time! So far I have tried the cloudy lemon and the orange mango and both were delicious. Fruity with a good amount of fizz (I am a sucker for a fizzy drink) and no sugar so no worries for your teeth! 


After being completely addicted to cherry coke I was really sceptical of a natural fruit juice alternative. I have never even enjoyed the own brand supermarket cola that my mom used to buy, it always had to be the real deal. With no preservatives, no e-numbers, no sugar and no artificial sweeteners this cola comes in plain, blueberry or cherry and is available in a lot of supermarkets now. I will definitely be drinking more of the cherry one! I did enjoy the other two but like I say, cherry is my weakness.


Another habit of my night shifts is picking up a boots meal deal to see me through and this is how I got on to these drinks from Just Bee. Spring water, fruit infusions and a drop of natural honey make these drinks both sweet and satisfying. They come in three flavours blueberry, lemon and lime and apple and ginger and at the moment I really don't have a favourite as I enjoy them all equally.


Last but not least are the infusions from the feel good drinks co. I know that this is something I could probably make myself but I am a woman pushed for time! Its always worth checking labels on waters as I know both volvic a touch of and vitamin water contain a lot of added sugar. These are all 100% natural and contain no added sugar. I found them very refreshing, especially when served ice cold!

Are there any drinks you think I should try? I'm hoping there will be a part two to this in the near future as I am always on the look out for drinks to keep me hydrated through a long night shift! Keep an eye out next week for the snacks that get me through my night shifts too!

Charlotte Lucy
Some of these drinks were kindly sent to me for consideration, however all of the opinions are my own and I only included drinks I would happily purchase myself. 

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

A different way to take your vitamins with BetterYou



I am all for taking supplements in my diet. I have battled deficiencies for most of my life. I try and focus on my diet and trying to get everything I can from food but with my IBS this isn't always possible. Its two fold, on the one hand I have days when I struggle to eat or at least eat enough. When I am battling the heartburn, bloating, cramping a diarrhoea. I also then struggle because due to the amount of diarrhoea that I have I don't keep the nutrients in or absorb them. I am also terrible at remembering to take my tablets. Some supplements have to be taken with food and at the moment I am not in a regular pattern of eating (yeah I know that's bad, save that for another post). Also some have to be taken more than once a day, and like I say remembering to take my pills once a day with my brain fog is a nightmare.

So when BetterYou sent me these sprays I was more than excited. First up is the daily vitamin b12 oral spray. B12 has been proven to not only reduce tiredness and fatigue but it is also very important in helping the brain and nervous system to function properly. We get it in our diets from sources such as meat, fish, milk and eggs which is why it is usually deficient in a vegan diet. Its also hard to absorb in the gut and in the past I have required B12 injections. As a water soluble vitamin there isn't an upper limit and so I have been talking 4 sprays daily in to my inner cheek which provides 1,200 units of vitamin B12. its also in this really nice peach flavour! 

Secondly is the turmeric daily oral spray. Turmeric has been in the press a lot lately with its anti inflammatory properties. However, evidence wise, there is not a huge amount of evidence based practise to suggest that any turmeric supplements and I really wasn't keen on the orange taste so I don't think that this is one that I will continue with.

Last but not least is the vitamin D spray. After a two year long battle to get my own levels within the normal range I am determined to keep it that way. Again the evidence suggests that by having a spray directly into your mouth its absorbed better than traditional tablets which have to contend with the tricky digestive system. It also has a natural peppermint flavour so i like to take this last as it gives me that lovely fresh breath feeling. 

If you want to test out any of these products yourself they are available from Better You and also available in Holland and Barret stores. I am going to be continuing with the B12 and Vitamin D sprays as well as hopefully trying out the multivitamin spray. Keep an eye out next week for a second post about Better You, talking about their fantastic range of magnesium products ...

Charlotte Lucy 
 These products were sent to me free of charge to review, but as always all opinions are 100% honest and my own  

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Boo Burger, Leicester*



You should know by now that I am a foodie, and the Leicester food scene just keeps getting better. Apart from the fact that I live too far out to get Deliveroo (something that will no doubt factor into where we buy a house) it seems that within and around the city centre there is somewhere new to eat opening every week. When I got the email inviting me to review the newly opened Boo Burger I have to admit I was a little sceptical ... does Leicester really need another burger place?
 
Located up on the London Road, it is pretty perfectly located for Leicester University students and also not far from the train station. It would also be perfect for a pre or post theatre meal, less than 5 minutes walk from De Montfort Hall. I would describe it as a premium fast food restaurant (comparable with the likes of Five Guys and Shake Shack) and the food was definitely a high quality. All of the meat, salad and brioche buns are fresh daily. 



The menu is small but effective, with beef burgers, chicken and their vegetarian option of a Boo-loumi burger which I am yet to try. The 4 different beef burgers come in 4oz or 6oz but the 4oz was more than enough for both of us when we had them alongside fries, wings and milkshakes. I went for the smoky which was topped with smoked beef rashers, American cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, gherkins and house sauce while Tom went for the haystack as he was drawn in to the crispy onion strings. We also ordered fries each, sticky wings and milkshakes. This all came to £23.75 which I thought was really reasonable for the amount of food we got.

One thing I was immediately impressed with was the fresh crunch of the salad. I find sometimes in burger restaurants salad goes soggy, but the lettuce and especially the gherkins had a good crunch to them. After speaking to the staff they said a lot of thought went into this which is why they use flat leaf lettuce. The burgers were delicious, with the soft brioche buns and the juicy meat. 


If the burgers weren't enough to get me to recommend this place, the milkshakes were out of this world. I went for the peanut butter which was creamy, nutty and all of the things you would want from a peanut butter shake. Tom chose the chocolate, which was nice but I definitely made the right decision! I actually think that for a lunch I would happily go in for a shake and some wings ... In fact I may do that this afternoon!

I would totally give Boo a 5 star rating and like I say I can't wait to go back for more. I want to try out the halloumi burger because this girl loves halloumi. I am compiling a list of the best burgers in Leicester and so far this sits at number two ... not quite good enough to knock Crafty burger off the top spot but then again I am not comparing like for like here. 

Have you tried boo? What did you think?

Charlotte Lucy
*I was invited to try out Boo Burger free of charge, but as always all thoughts are my own. 

 

Monday, 18 September 2017

A crushing headache, a UCAS form and then I fell ... literally.

Ok, so this September I had plans to upload a blog post every week day and you may have noticed how much that failed. So before catching up on the posts sitting in my drafts (theres a restaurant review, some spray vitamins, some super night shift snacks and drinks AND some natual pain relief methods ... so I hope you are excited) Anyway, I digress.

A few weeks ago I started feeling under the weather again but when you live with chronic illness its part of the package. However in the last week the headaches got more and more severe until I felt like someone had my head in between their hands just crushing my whole head. I immediately thought it was due to my pill. If i was on it for contraception it wouldnt be such an issue but I was actually on it back to back to try and help with my endometriosis symptoms. So i tried to stick it out but as the headaches got worse I decided to book a doctors appointment and shes advised me to stop taking it.

The only way it seemed to get relief from the headaches was to to eat and then sleep. Which obviously didnt leave much time for blogging, as I was just about managing to get through my night shifts ( I work full time as a health care assistant). Then on Friday I got an email to say that in order to process my uni application further (despite the fact I had an interview 3 weeks ago) I had to fill in an send a UCAS form by midnight THAT day. So I had a little stress but managed to get that done.

THEN on saturday I had a training day at work and during lunch managed to fall over (I am not sure if this is ralated to the headaches and increased fatigue) and split my knee open. As it wouldnt stop bleeding I ended up spending five hours at the minor injuries unit waiting to have it glued because everytime I stood up and moved it started to bleed again.

So now I am not sure if I am sore because of the sitting still for so long but my left shoulder, elbow, wrist and knee are all giving me exruciating pain. I went back to my doctor this morning and she has recommended that I try and stay away from painkillers as much as possible as they could be contributing to the headaches and so what better time to test out a ot of non medicinal pain relief methods. Normally I would have a hot bath but I have to keep my knee (with the glue) dry for 5 days

Hopefully things will be back to normal soon on here, I am going to spend today writing up some of the back log of posts but I can't promise anything!

Charlotte Lucy

Monday, 11 September 2017

Alternative Therapies? 5 Alternative Therapies You Should Try Today



Today's post is actually a guest post! I am very interested in complimentary therapies alongside my medication and when the lovely team at bioflow got in touch to ask if I would like to try their magnetic therapy I thought it would be a great idea. I am also looking into hypnosis and acupuncture.


When you start talking about alternative therapies, people might think you’re getting a bit ‘hippy’ and dismiss you from the get go. But many people are advocates for trying more holistic and natural remedies and with the alternative and complementary therapy industry worth £151 billion, it’s clear that it’s growing in popularity.



A quick Google search confirms this, there are dozens of methods to try and so many businesses out there ready to help you improve your health and well being without the need for conventional medicine. Here are a few of those, to get you started: 

Sound therapy    

Some people claim certain sound and frequencies can help with things like anxiety, stress and tinnitus (ringing in the ear). Here’s the idea behind it: vibrating equipment at certain frequencies is meant to balance the brainwaves to settle to an alpha state. Apparently it’s meant to be very relaxing, and I can understand why. If you think about it some sounds can stress anyone out (fingers on a blackboard!) while others can help calm people down.

Acupuncture    

Acupuncture is a treatment derived from ancient Chinese medicine and is very popular among those with with muscular issues. The therapist will use fine needles to stimulate sensory nerves and promote self healing. A word of warning though - if you consider yourself to be squeamish then this may not be the one for you!

Cupping therapy   

You may have heard this one associated with athletes, like the US swimming Olympian Michael Phelps, but it is also popular with some celebs like Jennifer Anniston. If you Google it the images don’t exactly make you want to get out there and try it, but it’s meant to work wonders for muscular and joint problems, with some even using it for specific cancer treatment. It works by placing special cups on the skin to create a sort of ‘vacuum effect’ and mobilises blood and energy around the body.

Ear candling   

There’s always such conflicting advice about whether you should or shouldn’t clean your ears with ear buds, but how about sticking a candle in there to get rid of a buildup of wax? Hopi Ear Candles are commonplace in well being clinics up and down the country, with an appointment lasting for around 30-45 minutes. The candles themselves are generally made from pieces of unbleached cotton or linen, which are then soaked in wax and shaped into a hollow cone or cylinder. Many are also scented to add to the experience. If you’re considering this method then it’s definitely worth further research as there are some medical professionals and hearing charities who caution against ear candles (mainly because incorrect use can lead to injury).

Magnetic therapy


Magnetic therapy involves wearing a bracelet or wristband with magnets inside; these work to agitate the blood as it passes and is believed to have a positive effect on conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia and even depression. This type of therapy can also be used as a natural pain relief for animals, with a number of products out there from dog and cat collars to horse boots and horse rugs.



Disclaimer: this guest post has been provided by Andrea Sleep, ecommerce and marketing manager at Bioflow.